Game: Necaxa vs Tijuana Xolos
When: Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019
Where: Estadio Victoria, Aguascalientes, Mexico
Time: 7:00 P.M. PST
TV: ESPN Deportes
The Tijuana Xolos are red hot, currently on a three-game undefeated streak in league play, coming off a huge 3-0 win against Veracruz at home.
Things are finally coming together for Oscar Pareja heading into this Week 8 matchup, but Club Tijuana will have a major absence.
Colombian winger Fabian Castillo picked up an injury against Veracruz last week and is expected to miss at least two weeks. It is still unclear as to how Oscar Pareja will set up his team after the injury, but young winger Jesus Angulo is the likely replacement.
The Colombian manager has been sticking with a 4-2-3-1 formation and is not likely to stray away from it given the good run of form. The Xoloitzcuintles have also only allowed one goal in their last three games as Diego Braghieri has served as a leader for the backline. The Xolos have picked up four points from four games on the road this season and should provide a competitive effort in this clash at the Estadio Victoria.
Necaxa has been one of the surprises in the Liga MX this season, currently in fifth place with 11 points. Los Rayos are on a two-game winless streak, but have scored five goals between these two games, currently tied for the third-best offense in the league.
The team from Aguascalientes has a solid team going forward, but can struggle defensively with inconsistency in the backline. Goalkeeper Hugo Gonzalez is solid in between the sticks, but the defense and midfield leave a lot to be desired, especially in terms of physicality.
Players to Watch
Bou has two goals and two assists in his last two games in all competitions as he is really starting to show up for the Aztec Canines. The Argentine is a complete forward and will need to step up in Fabian Castillo’s absence for the Hairless Dogs.
Fernandez leads Necaxa with six goals scored this season and has been a revelation in the Liga MX. The Argentine forward also has two assists along with his six goals and has single-handedly led Necaxa to certain results this season.
EVT predicts a 2-2 draw at the Estadio Victoria as both teams have talented attackers and flaws in the defense, which should make this a very entertaining clash.
Francisco, 26, Chula Vista/Tijuana. I have been a Padres fan all my life, did most of the series previews and recaps in the Padres’ 2016 season for EVT. Now I focus more on the local soccer scene. Tijuana Xolos, San Diego Loyal, San Diego Wave.